Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
December 23, 2023 ·  3 min read

Top Sheets Are Annoying. Take Them Off and Enjoy Your Sleep Better

A phone jammed into your skin tight jean pocket typically has more freedom.

Many endure the discomfort as though sleeping with these sheets is the eleventh commandment. Seriously, take it off and live life your life to the fullest.

In case you’re wondering, a top sheet is that flat sheet that sits between your duvet and fitted sheet. Occupants are supposed to lie underneath it. [1]. The main function of a top sheet is to act as a barrier that can limit the transfer of dead skin cells, various microbes, sweat, etc., to your duvet. The idea is to wash your top sheet more often, and your duvet less. But it is worth it?

Many people are tossing their top sheet. Citing it as a useless scam, only leading to extra effort from you to clean and maintain. You often hear comments like, ‘My duvet is not machine washable, and it’s so heavy, I can’t imagine handwashing it so frequently.’ However, others would describe it as ‘dirty’ and ‘unhygienic’ if you tell them you sleep directly under your duvet without a top sheet. When it comes down to it, what’s actually unhygienic is not washing your duvet for months on end, hiding behind the fact that you sleep under a regularly-washed top sheet.

Besides, top sheets are the literal objectification of the word ‘discomfort’. Tucking a flat sheet tightly into your mattress and bed frame and attempting to pry yourself into bed is not comfortable. All in a bid to prevent the duvet from getting dirty.

Some people can’t sleep without the top sheet because it’s a habit they’ve lived with all their lives. Old habits, as they say, die hard. They’d probably even feel uncomfortable sleeping without the top sheet. If the absence of this body prison seems bizarre, yet deep down you know its uncomfortable, then maybe it’s time to take a stand and break free from the shackles of this seemingly pointless layer linen [2]. Toss that top sheet.

Fact Check: Sleep Is Supposed To Be Comfortable

After spending the day in uncomfortable work clothes, sitting in a chair, or standing and exerting yourself, you deserve to come home to a spacious (top-sheet-free) bed where you can kick in any direction you want and let your lower limbs wander (for those who like to kick to relax).

Some people insist that it makes them feel cozier to sleep under the top sheet. I can’t argue with a person about how THEY feel, but isn’t ‘cozy’ supposed to describe a sense of snuggly-warmth and utter relaxation? A warm bath, a roaring wood burning fireplace, or a soft breathable duvet will give you that feeling in full measure, not being saran wrapped to your mattress. A top sheet does not equally cozy.

Here’s How To Cope With The Fall Out Of Tossing The Top Sheet.

Remind yourself of the fact that it’ll ease the bed-making process when you’ve got only a bottom sheet and a duvet.

Secondly, I’ll recommend you get a soft, natural fiber duvet that’s machine washable. This will be indicated on the label. You CAN wash your duvet as many times in a month as you want. There’s no penalty for that, and neither is there any limitation. Chances are, your duvet may not exactly fit into your machine at home. Pick out some change and head to the laundromat whenever you want to give it a wash.

Wash the duvet on a gentle cycle and dry it on low heat (or delicate setting). Once in a while, try hang drying it in outside in the sun. The UV rays and fresh air can bring back that freshness you’re looking for.

Putting your top sheet to good use

Your top sheet can actually be useful when the duvet will cause you to bake in your sleep (I’m talking summer time). You can fold up the duvet and use your top sheet as a lightweight blanket. So, don’t toss the sheets in the trash just yet. Save it for use during the warmer months.

The Bottom Line?

If you’re addicted to your top sheet, and you actually find it comfortable, that’s all that counts. Keep on using it. This is subjective after all. However, if you feel less comfortable than a canned sardine, and are looking for a top sheet revolution, do yourself a favor and stop using it.